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Page last updated at 15:07 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 16:07 UK

Turkey probes 'new anti-PM plot'

Turkey's chief of staff, Gen Ilker Basbug, Ankara 16 Jun 09
The army chief is seen as symbolising Turkey's secular order

Turkey's prime minister has had a special meeting with the country's military chief to discuss an alleged plot to discredit the ruling AK Party.

PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged civilian and military investigators to find out who was behind the alleged plan. It was reported by the Taraf daily on Friday.

According to Taraf, officers plotted to "break popular support" for the AKP, which has its roots in Islam.

A separate probe into an alleged anti-AKP plot has led to dozens of arrests.

Gen Ilker Basbug did not comment on his talks with Mr Erdogan on Tuesday. But earlier he said the military was investigating whether the reported anti-AKP plan was authentic.

Along with the AKP, it also allegedly targeted a Muslim brotherhood led by a cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

The Turkish daily Hurriyet says a senior naval officer, Dursun Cicek, is accused of having drawn up the anti-AKP document in April.

The plan reportedly set out ways to combat fundamentalist Islam and curb religious movements.

The military is seen as a bastion of Turkish secularism and there are long-running tensions between officers and members of the ruling AKP.

In the so-called Ergenekon investigation, several retired generals have been arrested, along with politicians, journalists and academics. They are suspected of belonging to an ultra-nationalist network that sought to trigger a military coup against Mr Erdogan's government.



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